Where do we go from here?
Published : Friday, June 03, 2011
Written by : Itchie G. Cabayan
CITING humanitarian reasons, Manila Mayor Alfredo S. Lim yesterday gave those selling pirated DVDs and CDs in the city, particularly in the Quiapo area, up to the end of the month to dispose of their remaining goods, stressing that the city government will go all out against piracy effective July 1.
In a meeting with the Muslim vendors, Lim cited a recent report which tagged Quiapo as one of the world’s ‘most notorious markets’ in the world when it comes to piracy, as the reason why he would put an end to the considerations being given to the vendors.
“Effective July 1, we will put a complete stop to the vending of these wares. We are giving you sufficient time to dispose of these discs that were sold or consigned to you, but we have to erase from the minds of the public that this activity is being tolerated,” Lim stressed. During the meeting which was also attended by Optical Media Board (OMB) chairman Ronnie Ricketts, Intellectual Property Rights director-general Ricardo Blancaflor, chief of staff Ric de Guzman and city administrator Jay Marzan , National Commission of Muslim Filipinos representative Bae Omera-Lucman and Muslim leaders and vendors’ representatives, the mayor called on the vendors of pirated discs to comply with his decision and vowed to assist them in engaging in legitimate businesses.
“Let us uphold the majesty of the law. There is a demarcation line in giving considerations for humanitarian reasons and that line has been reached. Hindi pupuwedeng araw-araw ay pagbibigyan ang lahat. We have been lenient with you. Now we have to do something or we will be accused of sleeping on the job,” Lim stressed.
According to him, the Muslim community members, through representations made by Muslim leaders, have been given the chance to eke out a living after evacuating from Mindanao and escaping from the chaos there, saying they were merely forced to engage in the sale of pirated discs to survive.
The mayor said, “it is time to shift to legitimate or legal businesses. We will give you until the end of the month to dispose of your remaining wares so you won’t be caught flat-footed. Matagal namin kayong pinagbigyan kaya sana naman ay kami ang pagbigyan ninyo ngayon.” He further explained that since vending pirated discs is illegal, allowing it to continue violates the law.
Lim said that once the vendors have shifted to legitimate businesses, they will no longer have to contend with hassles like dealing with corrupt authorities who mulct them in exchange for freedom from any harassment.